Archive for Peter Riddell

Peter took up the Directorship at the Institute for Government on 1st January 2012. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Institute and divided his time here with his work for the Detainee Inquiry, a privy counsellor panel looking at whether the British Government was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries (a role from which he resigned at the end of 2011 to concentrate on his work at the IfG). At the Institute, he co-authored reports on Transitions and Ministerial Effectiveness and has been closely involved in work on political and constitutional reform. Until mid-2010, Peter was a journalist for nearly 40 years, split between the Financial Times and The Times, where he had been their domestic political analyst and commentator. He has been a regular broadcaster, has written seven books and delivered frequent lectures. He chaired the Hansard Society, a non-partisan charity which promoters understanding of Parliament and representative democracy, for five years until mid-2012. Peter has received two honorary doctorates of literature, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Political Studies Association and was one of the first recipients of the President’s medal of the British Academy. He was appointed to the Privy Council in July 2010 in order to serve on the Detainee Inquiry and was made a CBE in the June 2012 Birthday Honours List. He carried out the triennial review of the Committee on Standards in Public Life for the Cabinet Office in late 2012.

Peter Riddell’s Posts

The role of public inquiries

, 26 July 2016

Public inquiries rarely satisfy everyone. This is less because of the length of inquiries or their cost. Rather, it is about differences of expectation about what they are intended to do. That was one of the main conclusions of a recent seminar held at the Institute for Government in the aftermath of the Chilcot...

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Government and the EU Referendum

, 19 February 2016

Handling this unusual, and limited, breach of the usual convention of collective ministerial responsibility will require not only skilful political leadership from David Cameron but also understanding about what is, and is not, permitted between now and the referendum. The long-established principle of British government is that once a policy is agreed, the principle...

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2016: high stakes for the Government and the UK

, 2 January 2016

It is almost impossible to talk about any subject – the implementation of the public spending review, decisions on big infrastructure projects such as expansion of London’s airport capacity, the review of human rights legislation and the future of the union itself – without taking account of the promised referendum on the UK’s membership...

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Answering the Scottish question

, 19 November 2015

David Cameron recently said that the pre-referendum vow about the ‘powerhouse parliament’ had been kept and, quoting its author, Lord Smith, that the agreement brokered by the Smith Commission had been delivered in full. So, in the Prime Minister’s view, the debate should now shift to how those new powers should be used. Based...

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Review of the Lords

, 28 October 2015

We are not in a constitutional crisis. For all the strong words generated since the government’s defeat in the Lords on Monday on its proposals on tax credits, the real story is about a clash of principles and practice and a much changed, and unstable, political position in both the Commons and Lords. In...

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The ‘fatal power’ of the Lords

, 21 October 2015

The House of Lords is mainly nowadays a revising chamber with the ability to ask the Commons, and the Government, to think again by passing amendments. But on secondary or delegated legislation ­– implementing measures in an act or primary legislation – the Lords has a veto. Peers cannot amend such a measure, only...

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The smarter state and the spending review

, 23 September 2015

Getting the spending review right – delivering in the PM’s words ‘better value for taxpayers but better services too’– is central to the success of the Government’s programme between now and 2020. The Institute for Government shares Cameron’s aspirations for more effective government and agrees that the spending review will only work if there...

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Be careful what you wish for: the dangers of a slim majority

, 8 May 2015

David Cameron sounded distinctly relieved when he announced that he would be leading a majority government for the first time, rather than a coalition. Obviously, he was personally pleased to be able to answer his party critics by – in contrast to 2010 – leading his party to an overall majority for the first...

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Governing made harder by the election campaign

, 6 May 2015

This is partly because of what has been said, and not said, about the main policy challenges facing the UK in what has, at times, appeared to be a competition in gimmicky vacuity. But, at root, the system is now dysfunctional with a mismatch between what many politicians say, the expectations produced and the...

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Decentralisation and devolution must be dealt with more coherently

, 30 April 2015

Whoever forms the next government will have to address the UK question. This is more than just than the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and English questions. It is about how the various parts of the UK relate to each other, and to the Union as a whole.

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